946 nm rotary disk laser achieves record 14 W output

Feb. 8, 2013
Sparkle Optics has achieved a record 14 W of diffraction-limited laser power at 946 nm using their rotary disk laser technology.

Sparkle Optics (Menlo Park, CA) has achieved a record 14 W of diffraction-limited laser power at 946 nm using their rotary disk laser technology. To date, power levels at this wavelength have been limited to less than 10 W with poor beam quality due to the quasi-three-level nature of the 946 nm laser line, the low-stimulated-emission cross-section, and the phase aberration in conventional, static media, bulk solid-state lasers.

Using the rotary disk laser geometry, high gain can be produced in any solid-state laser material with low phase aberration in the resonator. Frequency upconversion and nonlinear optics will enable the 946 nm laser to produce high-power laser sources in the blue at 473 nm and in the ultraviolet (UV) region at 236.5 nm. UV lasers are very much desired for remote detection of explosives, while 473 nm lasers can be used for underwater sensing and medical applications such as DNA sequencing.

Work is continuing at Sparkle Optics to generate nanosecond pulses at a 10–100 kHz repetition rate at 946 nm, and to produce harmonics in the blue and in the deep UV. In related news, Sparkle Optics received a SBIR Phase III award from the US Air Force’s High Energy Laser-Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO) in 2012 to develop laser illuminators. Contact Santanu Basu at [email protected].

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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